As a performer strongly committed to bringing the music of this century to the attention of the public, I have derived great pleasure from working closely with many composers whose works I''ve championed throughout my thirty-year career. Perhaps the most memorable aspect of preparing the composers'' works for public performance and for recordings has been the countless conversations I''ve had with them concerning the special demands and qualities inherent in their music. I have been particularly flattered to learn that my skills and reputation have opened doors to many emerging talents whose music was first heard in New York City through my efforts as director of North/South Consonance, Inc. And I have delighted in inspiring composers to write new works specifically for my abilities and concert series.
The composers featured in this collection of piano music are among those with whom I have especially enjoyed collaborating over the past several years. Through their works, they have espoused many of the stylistic trends that have gained credibility during the last fifty years. This collection treats the piano in various ways: from a predominantly cantabile instrument in line with the classical-romantic tradition, to a unique source of percussive and timbric sonorities in a more modern, experimental approach. While the music written in the former style demands complete mastery of traditional techniques, novel approaches to the instrument range from plucking its strings to obtain harmonics and other unique sounds, to unconventional ways of pedaling and striking the keys.
Dr. Mark Corwin, the producer and engineer for these albums, made a special effort to preserve the integrity of the Concordia University Concert Hall ambiance when this collection was recorded and mastered. Indeed, with his superior understanding of recording techniques, Dr. Corwin successfully captured both the natural resonance of the concert hall and the wide dynamic range of the music without distortion. Please use a moderate volume setting when playing these discs.
This double album is dedicated to the memory of Yvar Mikhashoff who, as pianist and teacher, selflessly promoted the music of his contemporaries in an effective and admirable manner.
Max Lifchitz, New York; July, 1997